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6 in 10 teachers in one state say they might quit

Photo courtesy MTLHS student

The Kansas City Star takes a look at the anxiety many teachers in Missouri are feeling as the coronavirus pandemic continues. And what they might do about it.

Last month the Missouri State Teachers Association surveyed its 33,000 members, and of the 6,000 who responded, 80% said “they feel significantly more stress” than they did a year ago. Nearly 60% said they have considered leaving the profession. 

“I don’t feel safe. This is not safe,” said Blake Hodges, an Olathe special education teacher. “Teachers are wanting to resign but can’t. How unethical is it that I have to choose between my family’s personal safety and my own basic financial survival?”

I anticipate how some (angry and elitist) people will respond to such a question: If you don’t want to teach, there’s the door.

These are the people who insist K-12 schools must be open because — well, you know how it is — teachers work for “us.”

No, they don’t.

Unless you’ve met a really good teacher, you don’t understand the internal motivation that comes with making every kid, no matter the circumstances he or she comes from, better prepared for the future. Of course there are plenty of teachers mailing it in, and they ought to get the hell out of the way. But those marking-time teachers are the minority.

So, when you read about teachers ready to quit, be careful how you react. You’d be wise to rally to their cause instead of ignoring their pleas. Your kid might thank you.

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